I understand why it was called The Curse for so long. I know, I know – the perfect 21st century woman should (according to ads for feminine hygiene products) wear beautiful breezy white clothes at all times while cavorting, skipping and jumping for joy that God made her a woman.
Tampax‘s super-irritating slogans ask us: “Why worry about your period when you have more important stuff to think about?” and remind us to “Feel brave, wear a skirt.” (The person responsible for this one should be hanging their head in shame. Really.)
When will these companies realize that the challenge for most women who have their period is not how high they can jump, or how wondrously skimpy a skirt they can wear, but the question I find myself pondering each month: HOW DO I CONTROL MY HORMONES RIGHT NOW?
How do I pull it together when the woman next to me on the bus is so irritating that I want to develop the ability to breathe fire and then ROAR ON HER? How do I prevent myself from getting choked-up mid-sentence, because something has inexplicably moved me? How do I get to work on time in the morning when I have tried on every single item in my wardrobe and still feel ugly and frumpy (even though yesterday I was sure that I looked great)? How do I explain to my husband why I am inconsolably sad for no reason at all?
There is a wonderful scene in the film “Knocked Up” where Ben turns to Alison, a one night stand now pregnant with his child, and addresses her hormones directly:
Ben: You know what? I know this isn’t you talking, its your hormones, but I would just like to say, ‘F*** you hormones! You are a crazy bitch, hormones! Not Alison! Hormones! F*** them.
I feel like yelling at my own hormones: “What are you DOING in there???? Get a GRIP!!! You can’t just take over my mind and body like this! Who do you think you ARE?!?!?!?” I wish I could call my hormones to order and make them sit in neat rows, in a respectable and reasonable manner. But alas, it was not to be that way.
I think that all we can do is to try to be kind to ourselves. To understand that it is harder to get up in the morning and allow ourselves that extra ten minutes; to watch that cathartic weepy film and have a good, unabashed cry; and to be forgiving about that chocolate we HAD to have. You really did have to have it.
I’m sure there are many of you who know exactly what I’m talking about. If you would like to respond or share please write a comment below. In the next few days I’ll be sharing a recipe which is perfect for fixing those sweet cravings (works well at any time of the month).
p.s. – Has anyone noticed that boys also seem to suffer from monthly mood swings?